History and Background of Panama City, Florida

Panama City is a city located along U.S. Highway 98 in Bay County, Florida. It is the largest city between Pensacola, Florida and Tallahassee, Florida. It is the larger (population wise) of two principal cities of the Panama City-Lynn Haven, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 36,417; by 2004, the city's population had grown to 37,079, according to Census Bureau estimates. It is the county seat of Bay CountyGR6 and is located just east of the vacation destination Panama City Beach.

Major employers in the Bay County area include Tyndall Air Force Base (located east of the city), the Coastal Systems Station-Naval Surface Warfare Center, Gulf Power, Arizona Chemical, Stone Container, and Berg Pipe. Gulf Coast Community College and a satellite campus of Florida State University offer educational opportunities.

The city is served by Panama City-Bay County International Airport (PFN).

Scenes of Panama City and nearby Panama City Beach feature prominently in the 1993 film Ruby in Paradise.

In 2006, Panama City was named the best place to invest in real estate in the US by CNN's Business 2.0 magazine.

Although Native Americans had consistently frequented the St.Andrew's Bay, by the 1830s landowners from Georgia and Alabama had begun to summer on the bay shore approximately a mile west from what was to become, in 1909, Panama City. In fact, until the controversial consolidation of St. Andrew's to the west and Millville on the east with the relatively new development of Panama City in 1926, St. Andrew's was the chief town in the region that is now known as Bay County. During Panama City's 1909 incorporation, the area was still part of Washington County. When Panama City was incorporated, its city limits were 15th Street (Hwy 98) on the north, Balboa Avenue on the west and Bay Avenue on the east.

The area experienced some expansion during the 1920s Florida Land Boom. Major growth did not take place until World War II encouraged the government to utilize the area for the war effort. Tyndall Air Field was established in 1941; there was a US Coast Guard installation, US Navy Mine Countermeasures Station, and Wainwright Shipyard building Liberty Ships. The 1930 city population was reported by the 1948 Mullin-Kille and News-Herald City directory as 5000 -by 1950 the population of Panama City had reached 25,814(1950 US Census as reported by R.L. Polk &Co. Publishers.) Many of the service men and women who had been at the various installations had vowed to return to the beautiful St. Andrew's Bay area. They did, and began raising families. By this time the Panama City Beach area situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico was opened for tourism and residential development. By 1960 the Bay County population had rocketed to 67,100 (1960 US Census as reported in the 1963 Florida Handbook.)

Panama City is located at 30°10'28?N, 85°39'52?W (30.174451, -85.664480)GR1, within the Florida Panhandle and along the Emerald Coast.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city limits encompass an area of 26.7 square miles (69.1 km²)—20.5 square miles (53.1 km²) of it is land and 6.2 square miles (16.0 km² or 23.12%) of it is water. When Panama City was incorporated, its city limits were 15th Street (Hwy 98) on the north, Balboa Avenue on the west and Bay Avenue on the east.

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 36,417 people, 14,819 households, and 9,039 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,774.8 people per square mile (685.2/km²). There were 16,548 housing units at an average density of 806.5 per square mile (311.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.64% White, 21.45% African American, 1.55% Asian, 0.63% Native American, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.91% of the population.

There were 14,819 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,572, and the median income for a family was $40,890. Males had a median income of $30,401 versus $21,431 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,830. About 12.1% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Local Media
The News Herald, circulation newspaper
WJHG, NBC affiliate
WMBB, ABC affiliate
WPGX, FOX affiliate
WFSU/WFSG, PBS affiliate
Bay Broadcasting, WBPC-FM, Classic Hits & Alabama Football
WPAP, country
WFBX, rock
WPBH oldies
WEBZ urban
WFSY adult contemporary
WYOO, talk radio
WFSG, public radio
WKGC, public radio
WYYX, 97X, local radio station

Cultural References
In an episode of Reno 911, it is revealed that Deputy Travis Junior has a brother, Henry Junior Junior, that is from Panama City, Florida
In an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the Aqua Teens vacation in Panama City
In an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, Cmdr. Charles "Trip" Tucker reveals that he attended fictional Bay Shore Elementary in Panama City, Florida.

Information obtained from Wikipedic The Free Encyclopedia

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